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Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda – Peas in a Pod

We know that if there had been no Muslim Brotherhood there would be no Hamas, their differences are one of strategy rather than objective. Sometimes that point is proven rather effectively by the groups themselves. In this case by Al-Qaeda paying their respects to the former head of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Muhammad Mahdi Akef.

Al-Qaeda’s comments on Akef’s death appeared in the new edition of its al-Nafir newsletter, published by its central media arm al-Sahab on 26 September via the messaging app Telegram:

Al-Qaeda mourns late Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader

Al-Qaeda has mourned the death of former Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader Muhammad Mahdi Akef.

The group highlighted that despite their differences with the MB, they were brothers in Islam.

It highlighted that “the painful reality in which the nation was living requires collaboration… in order to achieve our goal of governing with God’s law”.

“We have to work on unifying ranks, bringing viewpoints closer and uprooting causes of differences while asserting the necessity of jihad,” it said.

“There is no peaceful solution and assuming power via election under secular governments is illegitimate in Islam and rejected by reason,” the statement added.

Many al-Qaeda supporters also mourned Akef on social media, reminding people of his steadfastness against “injustices” he was subjected to under different Egyptian governments.

Al-Qaeda has been critical of Egypt’s MB for embracing the mainstream political process to reach power.

In a video message last year, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri criticised the MB for failing to learn lessons from its history and realise that political institutions were incompatible with Islam.

Despite the criticism, al-Qaeda has always preferred to adopt a more polite approach towards the MB, offering advice rather than condemnation.

In contrast, the so-called Islamic State has not shied away from declaring the Brotherhood as apostates.

Akef, who headed the Brotherhood as the group’s so-called “supreme guide” from 2004 to 2010, died on 22 September.

He was among leading Brotherhood figures arrested in the security crackdown in the wake of the 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

He was initially sentenced to life imprisonment on violence-related charges, but the verdict was appealed and he was awaiting a retrial.

Al-Qaeda’s comments on Akef’s death appeared in the new edition of its al-Nafir newsletter, published by its central media arm al-Sahab on 26 September via the messaging app Telegram.

In 2011 the Community Security Trust published a blog post pointing out the connections in some detail between Al-Qaeda and Hamas, it’s well worth a read.